Gordo is transported to a trattoria via the Castle Street restaurant

What: San Carlo Liverpool

Where: 41 Castle St, L2 9SH

Food / Drink Type: Classic Italian dishes 

When: Monday to Sunday: 12pm-11pm

Independent or Chain: Independent

2023 12 11 San Carlo Liverpool Exterior
Outside San Carlo Liverpool Image: Confidentials

I had an exceptional meal at Liverpool’s San Carlo restaurant at the weekend. The place was jumping on a Saturday afternoon.

Walking in here is like going down a wormhole and coming up in the Trattoria Madonnina in Milan. Everyone is up for it, from a small but classy wedding party to a couple of daughters and their mum having a get-together with a glass of champagne and a good gossip. The perfume is expensive. The ladies of Liverpool can out-Milan Milan and six fellers sharing a beer at the bar swapping war stories are on a good-natured high.

2023 12 11 San Carlo Liverpool Interior
Inside San Carlo Liverpool Image: Confidentials

This is why San Carlo and the Distefano family are the kings of hospitality with high-end Italian restaurants; they are inclusive and treat everyone, from grandkids to grandparents, with class. No snobbishness about white tablecloths. It’s warm, it wraps you in classic cashmere.

The front of house team treats everyone’s money with respect. They know we’ve worked bloody hard for it and their job is to make you happy. 

I had a simple tomato and avocado salad. Perhaps not the best time of the year for tomatoes, but somehow the guys here have found sunshine in a bowl. 

2023 12 11 San Carlo Liverpool Tomato Salad
Tomato and avocado salad Image: Confidentials

A Dover sole of useful size was correctly cooked, seasoned and served on the bone for me. You can have it boned. I find the pleasure with this fish is as much from the taste and texture, as well as the triumph of deboning it yourself. You get a great sense of accomplishment. Childish, I know, but very important. I bloody love Liverpool, and San Carlo after all these years is still serving everyone with class.

2023 12 11 San Carlo Liverpool Dover Sole
The Dover sole Image: Confidentials

The crème brûlée was silk. It's as simple as that.

2023 12 11 San Carlo Liverpool Creme Brulee
Crème brûlée Image: Confidentials

The place is more Milan than Milan, and walking in reminds me of walking into Langan’s in London in its heyday.  

An absolute Gordo Go.

San Carlo Liverpool, 41 Castle St, L2 9SH

2023 12 11 San Carlo Liverpool Wedding Party
The happy wedding party at San Carlo Liverpool Image: Confidentials
  • Food 8/10

    Tomato salad 7, Dover sole 9, Crème brûlée 9

  • Service 4.5/5

  • Ambience 4.5/5